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NATO was not involved in a French airlift of weapons to Libyan rebels, the alliance’s chief said on Thursday, sharpening differences over how far Western powers should go to oust Muammar Gaddafi.

France on Wednesday became the first NATO country to openly acknowledge arming rebels seeking to topple Gaddafi, who has resisted an uprising against his rule that has turned into the bloodiest of the “Arab Spring” revolts sweeping the region.

The French weapons airlift has ruffled diplomatic feathers, with some governments questioning whether it contravenes a United Nations arms embargo and goes beyond the terms of a U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force to protect civilians.

Source: Lutfi Abu-Aun for Reuters.

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